When one talks of exploring The Maldives, one often thinks of boat rides across islands or a leisurely stroll around a small isle. However, the latest trend that is taking over this island nation is biking. Whether you consider biking on a bicycle or a scooter, Maldives bike tours are changing how travellers discover this Asian country.
From being a relaxed pillion rider behind a rider-cum-guide to pedalling your own bike, there are various exploration styles to choose from. While scooters are more common on the public islands, many private island resorts in The Maldives offer free bike rentals and some well-designed bike tours. Take a look at some of the options.
2 Hour Bike Tour of Malé
There is much to be discovered in Malé – capital city of The Maldives. If you are pressed for time and have only a couple of hours to spare, get on a two-hour bike tour around this island. Priced at USD 34 per person, this type of tour is great for solo travellers.
One of the best things to do in Maldives alone, this bike tour comes with a safety helmet and an English-speaking rider-guide. The itinerary includes 18 locations such as the National Museum, the Presidential Office and Palace, the Tsunami Monument and the Port of Malé.
It is possible to arrange your pickup straight from the Velana International Airport, so you don’t waste a single day of your tropical holiday. You can also ask to be dropped off at any convenient location on the island after the bike tour.
Bike Tour in Hanimaadhoo
Of all the Maldives tour packages that you browse through, pick the ones that give you a local flavour. Biking in the inhabited island of Hanimaadhoo will give you a glimpse of the daily lives of the Maldivians.
Measuring 7 km in length, this public island offers a village that you can cycle around. You will also be able to bike in the middle of a dense tropical forest in the north and take a break on the beach in the east of the island.
Hanimaadhoo Island will also give you the chance to discover quaint shops and little restaurants that serve freshly prepared Maldivian meals. The island has its own tiny airport in the south.
Half Day Bike Tour in Malé
For insights into Maldives’ history and culture, there is no better place to go on a motorcycle tour than Malé – the world’s smallest capital. This type of tour can be customized to last anywhere between an hour to six hours.
While you can be easily picked up from the Maldives International Airport, if you happen to stay at any hotel on the Malé Atoll, you can also arrange for a private or public transfer by paying extra.
This half day tour on a motorbike will let you explore the artificial island of Hulhumalé as well. You’ll visit Hulhumalé Central Park and the main attractions in Malé such as the National Museum.
You’ll also be served fresh coconut water on the way and have the chance to discover Carbon Neutral Island via a ferry ride. For an additional fee, you will have the option to enter Rasrani Park as well.
Biking in Addu Atoll
One of the loveliest public islands in The Maldives, Addu City offers plenty of cycling paths to those who like their vacations to be active. Although the roads are strewn with crushed corals, the rows of coconut trees that line the way make it worth the extra effort put in pedalling.
The Maldives is located in a scattered formation about the Equator, and Addu Atoll happens to be in the southern hemisphere, making it a great choice for a holiday when the wet season is upon the northern atolls.
While there are a multitude of activities to do in Maldives, cycling is rewarding in how it fills your bloodstream with endorphins from all the workout. The local islands in Addu Atoll aside, there is a lone private island that throws in some luxury in this southernmost region of the country.
Jungle Biking in Soneva Fushi (Kunfunadhoo Island)
Among all the luxury hotels in Maldives, Soneva Fushi is known to be ultra luxurious. Creature comforts aside, this private island resort offers free bicycles and tricycles to its guests. Located on the island of Kunfunadhoo, the property even has special maze-like routes that make biking more fun.
Here, you can not only bike in the daylight but also at night when the paths are illuminated. The cycles come with torches for night-time biking. There is a jungle route on the island which literally comes alive after dark when the sounds of the animals are more pronounced.
Bike through natural tunnels and tree-lined pathways for a break from the water activities. You might even come across some bunnies or chickens on your way! You can even choose a tandem bike if you are wondering what to do in Maldives for your honeymoon. You can also stand out in your photos with their special bamboo bikes.
Bike Route through Gan
A nice inclusion into any Maldives’ full day tours, a bike trip to the island of Gan is sure to be a hit with cycling enthusiasts. Also on Addu Atoll, this island is home to an international airport that connects the southern part of the country to the rest of the archipelago.
The roads are ideal for a smooth ride and you can also stop at The Equator Village Resort for their dive assistance or visit the war memorial at the former Royal Air Force base. There is a cinema there as well.
Biking in Feydhoo
Cycling in the atoll of Addu is made easy by the fact that its five little islands are connected by causeways. This means that you do not need any ferry to hop from one local island to another. The total distance, if you are up for cycling across the long stretch, is 35 km.
Biking in Feydhoo Island is a picturesque prospect as the horizon is lined by dhonis – traditional Maldivian wooden boats. You will also get a closer look at the lives of the fishermen who bring in their freshly caught tuna.
It is not mandatory to understand Dhivehi – local language of The Maldives, but that helps to start a conversation with the islanders who do not understand English. You can also snack on roasted breadfruit and a coconut drink here.
Biking on Villingili Island
There are many activities and things to do in Villingili (Villimalé) Island. This island is home to Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa. It is possible to bike around this private island resort if you are staying here. You will even be able to spot fruit bats when you zip through this isle. If you are not comfortable on a regular bike, ask for a tricycle which offers better balance and some storage for your bags and knickknacks.
Villingili is shaped like a spatula, and the distance that you can cover on your bike is approximately 8 km. Ride away from the manicured bits near the resort and you’ll also find a turtle nesting area around the beach. The cycle route ends at the turtle nesting area, but you’ll get to see at least one species of turtles in Maldives.
Another unique thing about this island is that it is home to the highest elevation of the country. You will reach an altitude of 2.4 metres when you bike on the upward incline around the property.
Bike Ride to Hithadhoo Island
The public island of Hithadhoo on Addu Atoll can be reached by biking across a road that measures 5 km from the nearby local island of Maradhoo, which is on the same atoll.
Hithadhoo is also the administrative centre of this region and has plenty of smooth roads – tarmac, to be specific. It is recommended to have all your safety gear in place as the biking speed on this island is much higher than on other quieter isles.
For a taste of the local village life, leave the tarmac and bike down to the villages and their inroads where you will find most of the native islanders living in coral houses.
When you book activities in Maldives, it is best to consider your interests and passions and not follow the bandwagon all the time. Biking, while still quite nascent in the country, is surely picking up pace.
There are only a handful of tours dedicated to biking on the public islands, but the private island resorts are changing that with their complimentary bike hire policies and curated routes and recommendations. You can even choose your Maldives water villas based on the type of bikes that you are looking for.
For reliable and enjoyable Maldives bike tours, book your vacation with Samudra Maldives – the pioneer in bespoke holiday planning. You will have another reason to wear your fancy smartwatch that tracks your biking speed while monitoring your health stats on the go. You will not only return with a sun-kissed look on your face but also toned legs from all the biking!